Fashion & Luxury

Global Overview

Luxury and fashion businesses are experiencing constant change with increasing pressure to become more sustainable, shifting consumer attitudes, increasing regulation and the need to capture and harness valuable customer data.  With the added impact of Covid-19, luxury and fashion businesses face extremely challenging market conditions.

Adapting to this changing environment, successfully implementing new ways of working and capturing opportunities across multiple jurisdictions can be difficult, particularly when faced with diverging laws and cultural approaches.

Multilaw’s global network of experienced specialist lawyers has in-depth sector knowledge and local legal expertise required to assist luxury and fashion businesses to navigate the patchwork of local laws and provide seamless, responsive and integrated legal support.

The Multilaw Advantage

Multilaw’s global network of fashion & luxury lawyers are sector experts and offer a wealth of experience of the issues faced by fashion and luxury businesses in their respective jurisdictions. From start-ups looking to expand overseas, to long-established fashion brands looking to acquire new maisons, develop new products, adapt supply chains, improve their digital presence or comply with local laws and customs, our members are always on hand to assist.

The Multilaw Fashion & Luxury team are approachable, commercially aware and provide fast, proactive and practical legal support.  We send clients regular updates related to developments in the field of fashion law from across the world, and highlight how these might impact your global market strategy.

What we do

Our expert lawyers offer the full spectrum of legal services to the fashion and luxury industry, including both contentious and non-contentious matters. We offer expert advice on:

  • IP disputes including copyright infringement, design right infringements, trade mark infringement and passing off/unfair competition
  • Brand management and protection
  • Commercial agreements and data protection compliance
  • Counterfeiting issues/enforcement
  • Capital raising (including IPOs and all types of bank financing needs)
  • e-commerce and m-commerce retailing
  • Product launches and promotion compliance
  • Social media advertising and retail consumer law
  • Intellectual property audits and due diligence
  • Retail legislation, regulation and compliance (product safety, employment, environmental etc.)
  • Supply chain due diligence and compliance
  • Retail and commercial leases (long-term and pop-up lease negotiation and licenses)
  • Business expansion into a new territory, including “first to market”
  • Issues in connection with data protection and compliance
  • Preparation of fashion sector specialised terms and conditions, supply chain agreements, franchising, distribution and selective distribution agreements
  • Competition law
  • Employment law issues, specifically with respect to fashion law issues, e.g. national minimum wage and national living wage as well as modern slavery statements and policies.
  • IT/Supply chain dispute resolution
  • Corporate Restructuring
  • Immigration issues/advice

Our Client Work

Australian member firm Macpherson Kelley were asked to assist on an international textile design company's licensing in Australia. The company designs, manufactures and retails a wide range of merchandise, including fashion. The proposed licence arrangement was categorised as a franchise under Australian law, so advice consisted of ensuring the company complied with the Franchising Code of Conduct. The matter was referred by UK member firm Shakespeare Martineau. Macpherson Kelley also assisted the client by advising on its intellectual property protection in Australia, privacy compliance, confidentiality, and insolvency.

Mexico member firm, Gonzalez Calvillo, assist Benetton on a daily basis, from reviewing its corporate matters, to analysing its terms and conditions with department stores, and lease agreements with its respective landlords. They also coordinate legal assistance that Benetton requires in other countries in Latin America, which has involved jointly working with other Multilaw firms, including Lexincorp in Central America, Urenda Rencoret Orrego y Dörr in Chile and Barrios Fuentes in Peru. During the Covid-19 Pandemic, Gonzalez Calvillo assisted Benetton on implementing a plan in order to avoid the full payment of its rent for each store, supporting such decisions in the applicable laws for each state in Mexico, giving Benetton a high leverage before its respective landlords when negotiating the rent discount for each store.

US member firm Duane Morris, through its own offices and in collaboration with Multilaw member firms around the world, regularly assists some of the most widely recognised luxury jewellery and apparel brands by advising on corporate transactions; immigration matters; employment issues; real estate deals; defamation; tortious conduct against clients or their supply chains; privacy compliance; confidentiality; insolvency and reorganisation; and intellectual property protection and counseling with respect to trademarks, trade dress, copyrights, patents, and licensing. For example, Duane Morris has advised the Swiss luxury brand, Bally, with respect to corporate finance matters in the United States.

Member firm in Italy, Jenny.Avvocati, assisted a well-known foreign fast fashion manufacturer in a complex litigation against an Italian franchisee, which involved unfair competition claims and the alleged fraudulent enforcement of a first request bank guarantee originally provided by the franchisee. The dispute was eventually settled by means of an agreement whereby the franchisee accepted the final termination of the agreement after a short transitional period.

Member firm in Spain, Ventura Garcés, has been offering commercial advice for more than 26 years to clients including the world-renowned eyewear Italian company Luxottica and its retail business, Sunglass Hut, world-famous clothing company Custo Barcelona, the esparto grass shoe company Cristina Castañer (as worn by several celebrities such as Queen Letizia, Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle or Princess Sofia of Sweden), Children Worldwide Fashion (haute couture fashion for children) and CELIO. The firm assists with general commercial advice, negotiation of contracts and clauses, influencer contracts, social media policies/contracts, breach of contract or license agreements, the negotiation of opening and maintenance of stores in some of the most famous shopping centres/streets in Spain.

Canadian member firm Miller Thomson acted as counsel on an initial public offering for Calgary-based Biedermann and Supreme Men’s Wear, a new Canadian luxury fashion brand.

Member firm in Italy, Portolano Cavallo, assisted an Italian top fashion brand belonging to the Kering group, in connection with all IT and digital related issues: drafting all templates of IT contracts, advising on new processes to be followed by the IT team, drafting guidelines on digital-related matters, advising on copyright issues, advising on data protection issues and related matters, such as compliance with the GDPR: drafting of policies, guidelines, training to employees and directors, data protection impact assessments concerning the launch of new products or internal processes involving the use of new technologies, legal basis of processing (e.g. balance of interest test), support in the management of exercise of data subjects’ rights, etc.

Member firm in Poland, WKB, provides day-to-day support to a company involved in the production and sale of luxury clothing in employment law and social security matters. WKB also advised on the company’s introduction to the Polish market and related activities, as well as supporting the company in their application for co-financing in connection with COVID-19.

Member firm in Spain, Gimenez Torres Abogados, have acted for the Spanish subsidiary of the Italian fashion company Gianni Versace since 1989. On a regular basis, they advise on areas such as real estate, employment, corporate, litigation and tax. They also act as Secretary of its Board of Directors.

US member firm Lathrop GPM’s have served as counsel to Red Wing Shoe Company, Inc., a worldwide manufacturer of footwear and garments, under the brands Red Wing Shoes, Red Wing Heritage, Irish Setter and Vasque, in a variety of corporate and business matters, distribution matters and intellectual property protection matters, including lease and real estate matters, national and international contract drafting, negotiation and review, advising on social media policies, contracts and releases, technology agreements, manufacturing agreements and assistance with sweepstakes and contests.

Member firm Tilleke & Gibbins acts as the external legal advisor for several leading multinational luxury fashion houses for a range of legal matters in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, and Myanmar, including assistance with company incorporation, franchising, intellectual property protection and enforcement, corporate services, compliance, customs duties, retail leases, tax matters, and employment matters, among others.

UK member firm Penningtons Manches Cooper act for a number of well-known brands on M&A, restructuring, funding rounds and shareholders agreements. These include acting for All Saints Retail Limited for 11 years, Needle & Thread Holdings Limited, Farfetch and retailers such as MRH Holdings and Onward Luxury Group.

Fashion Group Contacts